Tinnitus can prevent you from falling asleep or getting enough quality restorative sleep, leading to daytime grogginess, anxiety, stress and reduced mental alertness. This can have serious consequences on your health, job performance, and relationships.
There are steps you can take to help lessen the nightly impact of tinnitus and ensure a good night’s sleep. Try the following:
- Establish a regular bedtime routine and stick with it. Going to bed at the same time every night – even on the weekends – will help “train” your body that it’s time to shut down and get some sleep. Put away your phone and other electronic devices – these emit blue light that can interfere with sleep.
- Clear your mind before bedtime. Try meditation or relaxation exercises. Popular techniques include autogenic training (focusing on creating sensations of warmth and heaviness in different areas of your body);; deep breathing exercises such as 4-7-8 (inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, exhale for eight seconds); guided imagery, in which you visualize appealing experiences and sensations; and progressive relaxation, tensing and relaxing different muscle groups.
- Sleep in a darkened room. If your bedroom window faces a bright external light source, try room-darkening shades.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Turning down the thermostat can help keep you comfortable and promote a good night’s sleep.
- Use white noise. White noise is very effective at masking distracting background sounds and helping your brain to focus. You can buy a white noise machine specifically geared for this purpose, but an air conditioner, fan, or humidifier is just as effective.
- Exercise regularly. Not only will exercise keep you healthier; it helps tire your body, which leads to better sleep. Just be sure not to exercise too closely to bedtime, as this can potentially leave you wired.